The British press has recently been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The Leveson Inquiry is currently investigating the effect that phone hacking and media invasion of privacy has had on celebrities over the years. The hearings were opened by Lord Justice Leveson on 14 November 2011, saying: “The press provides an essential check on all aspects of public life. That is why any failure within the media affects all of us. At the heart of this Inquiry, therefore, may be one simple question: who guards the guardians?”
The revelations have thrown not just the News of the World (NoW) into the limelight, but have questioned the way the UK press interact with celebrities. Other papers including the Daily Mail and The Guardian have been accused of stepping over the line between celebrity and privacy. It seems there are a few more people who could benefit from a Bluewood course in dealing with the media to refresh their memories on best practice in the press.
Amongst those giving evidence are Charlotte Church and Sienna Miller who both told of the intense nature of the British paparazzi and how they would go to extreme lengths to get a headline. Sienna spoke of how “I would often find myself – I was 21 – at midnight running down a dark street”. Both celebrities also told the inquiry about the effects of phone hacking on their personal lives. Not knowing how the press got hold of stories resulted in family arguments for the two young women and in Charlotte’s case her mother had attempted suicide “at least in part” because she had known the story was coming out.
The inquiry is also looking out the ruthless way that the press have attempted to gain information in such cases as the disappearance of schoolgirl Milly Dowler and also Madeleine McCann. Milly’s mother has said that she found it “terribly difficult to process” the fact that it was possible that a journalist deleted messages from her phone. Reporter Daniel Sanderson has apologised after obtaining a copy of Mrs McCann’s diary. She told the inquiry that she felt “violated” by the story and how her personal thoughts had been used in order to create a headline. Sanderson said that his public apology wasn’t “just for this inquiry. That’s because I’m genuinely sorry”.
The results of the Leveson inquiry into press ethics are yet to be seen. Perhaps the conclusion will be to form a new code of ethics for the press to follow or even result in outside regulation. The remit of the process is to: “make recommendations on the future of press regulation and governance consistent with maintaining freedom of the press and ensuring the highest ethical and professional standards”. What is certain is that the nature of the media will always generate the need to be press trained; but the inquiry is showing that even journalists need to know how to ‘operate’ and perhaps, a few also need to know the difference between right and wrong.
Written by Megan – www.bluewoodtraining.co.uk – December 2011
The first ever email was sent in 1971 and it is predicted that the number of people signing up for new email accounts will continue to grow in the future. However, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has recently suggested that email isn’t perhaps the way forward while promoting his new messaging platform. With the younger generations growing up with instant messaging on the likes of MSN, Myspace and now Facebook, email use is lower among teenagers. This may change as they mature and progress into their working careers. It’s too close to call whether email is well and truly dead. But just in case…. you can make sure you are familiar with social messaging and social media tone of voice with a social media training course from Bluewood!
We’ve written about the importance of company-wide digital guidelines and social media training before on this blog. Though with the invention of IPhones and an ever increasingly impressive technology on mobile phones and laptops, it’s rare that we are ever that long separated from the internet – so this is a theme worth revisiting…. I for one admit that I am attached to my phone and feel like it’s become almost like my third hand. I check Twitter an uncountable number of times in one day and am often logged in to Facebook when I am supposed to be doing other things…
We are now all so used to getting a quick social network fix while at home or at work that we have become a nation of multi-taskers without even noticing. If we don’t have internet access at work, then chances are we have a phone or laptop that can hook us up and feed the addiction.
A popular leisure activity that goes hand in hand with social media is watching television and it appears that we are doing both simultaneously. It’s not just the young that are taking to the Internet to have their say. The Social TV Trends Report suggested “43% of British adults commented on or discussed TV shows they were watching using Twitter, Facebook, other websites and mobile phones”. New inventions, such as Zeebox allow consumers to link television and social media with ease. They are also developing technology that will benefit businesses by allowing viewers to buy products in adverts through its app. Founder Anthony Rose says: “We’ll be using video recognition to recognise ads on TV, so for something like Nike you’ll be able to buy the product from your second screen with a few clicks. But this can apply to the songs playing on TV, and links to catch-up content”.
It seems that during this winter the UK are hibernating on the weekend to watch TV shows where not only can they control the outcome of the programme by voting for the winner, but they can engage with other viewers and express their own opinions via posting on social media. A large proportion of the public no longer wait to discuss that weekend’s TV in the office on Monday morning, and voice their views online as they watch. According to Twitter analysis carried out by Diffusion for the BBC News website: “X Factor is the programme shown in the UK that attracted the most tweets written in English over a period of 30 days”. I’m sure we’ve all noticed the Tweets and Facebook status updates on Saturday nights and even partaken in a few ourselves, even if it is just to say “X Factor is rubbish, stop tweeting”.
This current popular trend could be used to a company’s advantage. Why not get involved and use it as a PR tool? Businesses looking for ways to engage with their audience could check the TV guide for the week ahead and plan a few Tweets or updates around the week ahead. If your products appear on a popular TV show, it could be the perfect opportunity to Tweet your followers and get them to look out for them being used by celebrities. If you’re unsure of social media etiquette or how get started why not get in touch with Bluewood and take some social media training. We can get you up and running on all you need to know for the social media world. There couldn’t be a simpler way to stay topical and interact with the general public.
Written by Megan – www.bluewoodtraining.co.uk – December 2011
Associated Press reporters have had their wrists slapped over updating their Twitter feeds with breaking news before posting it on the wires. This highlights how Twitter is becoming a lead news source and suggests that keeping up with social media can keep you connected with the latest news as it breaks and even give you information the newspapers can’t.
For example, the death of Osama Bin Laden first broke on Twitter. Anthony de Rosa, social media editor at Reuters tweeted that “News agencies must evolve or face extinction.”